Are lithium-sulphur batteries the answer to increasing the use of electric vehicles?
Improving lithium-sulphur technology could be a key factor in stimulating the adoption of electrified vehicles on a mass scale.
Cranfield University has become a partner in a £7 million European research and development project to develop high energy, safe, lithium-sulphur batteries for electrified vehicles.
The project ‘Lithium-sulfur for safe road electrification’ (LISA) ,which is being led by Leitat in Spain, will last for 43 months and features a total of 13 organisations from across Europe.
LISA aims to develop high energy and safe lithium-sulphur (Li-S) battery cells with hybrid solid state no-flammable electrolytes for automotive integration. A target has been set for production cost.
Regarding the main advantages over the commonly used lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, a Li-S battery can be twice as light, which impacts the weight of a vehicle. Li-S technology also has a higher theoretical energy density, a lower environmental impact technology, and is fully compatible with mass production by green and low-energy processes – delivering a technology that is free of critical raw materials and toxic components.
Dr Daniel Auger, Principal Investigator for Cranfield’s work packages and Senior Lecturer in control and vehicle systems, said: “LISA will allow us to continue to advance Cranfield’s specialist battery management technologies, which are vital in lightweight Li-S batteries. We will be able to extend our systems for an even wider variety of operating conditions, giving improved range and better insight into battery health.”
The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.